Winter Springs High’s Marvin Collins wins State Championships in BOTH wrestling and weightlifting
Winter Springs High School athletic director Scott Gomrad remembers the day Marvin Collins arrived on campus like it was yesterday. In fact, it was August 2018, and the 15-year-old sophomore-to-be had just transferred from a small private school in Orlando and was looking to check out the Bears’ athletic department.
Marvin, who was already a solidly built 200-plus pounds, had intended to play football and lift weights, but Scott had other plans for him. So, before he gave Marvin and his family a tour of the school, Scott – the school’s former wrestling coach – urgently contacted current wrestling coach Rocky Ciero.
“He texted me, ‘Get down here – now! You gotta see this kid!’ So I came down and just started talking to him,” Rocky says, “and it wasn’t a hard sell at all. We just told him that wrestling will help your football, and he said, ‘Sounds good.’ And we’re, like, ‘OK. Great!’”
Although both coaches saw Marvin’s potential that day, neither one could have predicted just how great the newest Bear on campus would eventually become, both on and off the athletic field and gymnasium. By his senior year, 2020-2021, Marvin had become Winter Springs High’s big man on campus – in more ways than one.
Why Win One When You Can Win Both?
Marvin, now a powerful 5-feet-11 and 236 pounds, made school history by becoming the first male athlete to win State Championships in two different sports, and he did so in dominant fashion. In March, Marvin pinned all four of his opponents to win the heavyweight division at the Class 2A Florida high-school state wrestling championships, and the following month, he won the Class 2A state weightlifting championship in the 238-pound weight class. At that meet, Marvin set a WSHS State Championship meet record with a total of 750 pounds (400-pound bench press and 350-pound clean-and-jerk), which was the best total in the entire state this year for all schools and all weight classes.
“When you think of Winter Springs Bears, you think of Marvin Collins,” Rocky says. “He’s our big Grizzly Bear, leading the charge. He was just a great ambassador for our sport, for our school, as a leader – everything. He’s a rare, rare person. We won’t have another one like him.”
In addition to his two state titles, Marvin was also named Winter Springs High’s 2020-2021 Athlete of the Year, Student of the Year, and homecoming king. As a junior, he was the football team’s leading tackler and defensive MVP, and as a senior, he was the leading rusher. He also threw the shot put and discus on the track team as a junior and senior, and in the classroom, Marvin had an impressive 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) grade-point average.
But Marvin is as humble as he is gifted, so you won’t hear him brag about his accomplishments. Still, he is understandably proud of what he’s done during his three years at Winter Springs High School.
“I like to set a goal and accomplish it,” says Marvin, 18. “That’s just how I’ve always been. I’m that way with everything.”
Pick a Sport, Any Sport
Marvin started playing football when he was six years old and was eager to play the sport at Winter Springs High. He also loved lifting weights and planned to join that team, as well.
“As soon as I saw Marvin’s build and his natural strength when he came in the weight room, I was excited,” says John Mosure, Winter Springs High’s weightlifting coach. “Here was a kid who had never been coached before, and now he was going to get some coaching, and I was excited about what he could do with it. And, sure enough, he became the strongest guy in Winter Springs High School history, which was awesome. He’s a great kid. We’re definitely going to miss him.”
Marvin will also certainly miss competing in high-school sports, but he was thrilled to go out with a bang. Although he had offers to continue wrestling in college, Marvin made the decision to enlist in the Army Reserves, instead. He reports for basic training in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, on September 15 and looks forward to his newest challenge.
“I’m always going to miss it,” Marvin says of his athletic career, “but I came to the conclusion that I love what I’ve done, and I’m okay with being done. But I’m very thankful for everything I’ve accomplished at the school and everything the school has done for me. Now, in the military, I’ll have the opportunity to grow and learn more, and that’s what I’m looking forward to.”
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